Let’s face it, fighting cancer can take time. Regardless of your cancer type or treatment regimen, going through treatment, reaching recovery and getting back to your normal life isn’t going to happen overnight. Whether your recovery process is three months or three years, the key to getting back into the swing of things is to take it slow and be patient.
There are lots of clichés that can be used to get this idea across, most likely because the statements ring true: slow and steady wins the race, it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon, etc. etc.
For those who are dealing with cancer, in addition to any injury or illness, pushing yourself too soon can lead to a major setback. Listen to what your doctor says and take his/her advice seriously. If you’re not happy with his/her recommendations, then think about seeking a second opinion. What you don’t want to do is ignore your doctor’s warnings altogether and risk compromising your health by partaking in activities that you’re not ready to explore.
It has been almost four months since I broke my foot. As soon as the cast was in place I was already itching to get back to my running routine. While I have thankfully been able to walk cast- and crutch-free for about a month, my doctor and physical therapist did not want me to run. I was tempted to ignore their warning, but friends warned me not to make matters worse. I waited patiently, and last week I got the OK. It was hard to hit the pavement at first, but this morning I took my first real extended jog. It was only for 10 minutes, but those 10 minutes felt great. If I hadn’t followed their advice, then I could’ve returned right back to square one.
Running may not be the adventure that’s eluding you right now. It could be a different kind of milestone such as taking a road trip for the first time after completing treatment. Even if you feel ready to take that plunge, listen to your doctor’s advice! And, if you feel ready to move forward at a faster pace, consider having a conversation with your doctor about how you’re feeling, and he/she may amend the waiting period.
Waiting for things that you want can be extremely frustrating, but ignoring your doctor’s warnings could be disastrous. Take it slow, get all hands on deck, keep your eyes on the prize and follow the path as the crow flies. Or, simply listen to your doctor’s advice, and find new ways to pass the time while preparing to hit those milestones.